There are lists and then there are highly profitable lists. I’m going to assume that you’d rather have a list that generates a niche steady stream of income for you. If you’re ready to build a highly profitable email list, there are three simple things you need to do. Think of them as the cornerstones of all your email marketing efforts.

Know Your Target Market

The Care and Feeding of a Highly Profitable ListBefore you even begin to build your list, you need to know your target market. Learn as much as you can about the niche you are in and the people that are interested in your topic. Some of this will be demographical data like gender, age, family status etc. But you need to be more specific than those basics.

Become part of your target market and learn the language they speak. As marketers, you know that we have a certain lingo. Mention open rates and click-through conversions to someone who isn’t in this business and they won’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about. Figure out what those terms are for your niche.

Build A Relationship With Your Audience

The Care and Feeding of a Highly Profitable ListNext, you want to build a relationship with the people that opt-in to receive your emails. Using their language will help, as will sharing helpful content. And don’t be afraid to share a little about your personal life. If you have personal experiences in the niche you’re targeting, all the better.

Joshua Kraus shares one of the best examples of relationship marketing in a post on

“A popular Reddit thread had users discussing how different companies had won their business forever.” One of the top posts was about the outdoor apparel company MooseJaw. The Redditor described how his roommate had ordered a hoodie from MooseJaw as a Christmas present for his girlfriend. Then, a few weeks before Christmas, she broke up with him. The roommate sent the hoodie back to MooseJaw for a refund, and in the “reason for returning” column, he wrote “girlfriend dumped me.”

Three weeks later he received a large package from MooseJaw. Inside was a selection of t-shirts and MooseJaw stickers. There was also a card that read, “We’re sorry your girlfriend broke up with you, we decided to give you a gift.” The rest of the card was filled with notes and jokes from MooseJaw staff members.”

What we learn from this is show your readers that you know what you’re talking about and that you care about them. Help them figure out what they should be doing next, or help them find the best solution to their problem. Earn their trust and they’ll be ready to buy when you make a recommendation.

Protect Your List

The Care and Feeding of a Highly Profitable ListYou’ve earned your subscribers’ trust and they are happily buying from you. To keep it that way and continue to profit from your email marketing, you have to be protective of your list. Check every piece of content and every product offer you send their way to make sure it is up to your high standards. This includes any JV (joint venture) or affiliate promotions you send.

You’ve spent a lot of time building this highly profitable list. Keep it that way by taking good care of your readers, subscribers and customers.

Before you sit down to grow your list or send out an email to them, remind yourself of these three keys. It may seem like a little extra work at times, but it is well worth the effort in the long run. You’ll grow a list that’s a solid business asset and something that will contribute greatly to your online income year after year.